Railway Youth Work - the evaluation project (2017–2018)
The completion of the Ring Rail Line has increased young people’s possibilities to move around the city and meet each other, which affects local youth culture. The improved public transport means shorter distances and new ways to use public space. In this way, youth cultural geography sets the cultural, social and geographical conditions where youth work is done. On the one hand, the increasing possibilities make some public spaces more accessible to young people (e.g. the Helsinki Airport, the Dixi Shopping Centre); on the other hand, it also means that the public transport itself becomes a young people’s space.
Railway youth work aims to respond these changes and to do youth work in those places where young people are hanging out: in trains, stations and other meeting places along the railways. The research project explores the form of youth work at new youth cultural spaces and evaluates its effects from young people’s perspectives as well as youth workers and partners. What are the benefits of railway youth work (e.g. positive encounters between young people and youth workers, the number of young people who are guided to other youth services, effects on safety and economy)? Who are those young people who are encountered and why are they hanging out in these places? How the Ring Rail Line and the increasing possibilities affect the City of Vantaa’s youth cultural landscape and how the change affects the cultural, social and geographical conditions for youth work?
The project utilises qualitative methods inspired by multi-sited ethnography.